The Result Of Paul’s Preaching In Antioch: “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” Acts 13:48 -- By: Robert P. Martin

Journal: Reformed Baptist Theological Review
Volume: RBTR 02:2 (Jul 2005)
Article: The Result Of Paul’s Preaching In Antioch: “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” Acts 13:48
Author: Robert P. Martin


The Result Of Paul’s Preaching In Antioch:
“As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” Acts 13:48

Robert P. Martin

Robert P. Martin, Ph.D., is Pastor of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, WA, and Editor of Reformed Baptist Theological Review.

Paul had preached the gospel in the synagogue at Antioch of Pisidia. As he and Barnabas were leaving, many of those who heard his message kept begging them to speak “these words” (i.e., the gospel) again on the following Sabbath (Acts 13:42). Whether this entreaty came from the synagogue elders as well as from the people, Luke doesn’t say. What is certain is that this was not a casual request but a repeated and urgent entreaty.1 Here was evidence that the Spirit had begun a work in the hearts of many. They were hungry for the Word of the Lord, pleading with Paul and Barnabas to teach them more of Christ and the gospel.

Many appear to have been converted on this occasion. After the meeting ended, “many of the Jews and the devout proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) followed Paul and Barnabas” (13:43). In some texts, the word translated “followed” (ἀκολουθέω) means “to become someone’s disciple” (e.g., Lk. 5:28; 18:28). Likely this is also Luke’s meaning here. Having been converted, these folk attached themselves to Paul and Barnabas as disciples (cf., 13:52). For their part, Paul and Barnabas “urged them to continue in the grace of God” (13:43).

The time frame is indefinite. At first glance we may think that Luke is speaking only of what happened on the Sabbath; however, he likely also includes the activity of the week that followed. Paul and Barnabas diligently set about giving these new converts further instruction in the gospel - focusing, of course, on their most pressing need, which is that they should persevere in faith attachment to Christ. Jesus had said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (Jn. 8:31). At Antioch of Syria, Barnabas had exhorted converts “that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (11:23). Here the emphasis is the same. As was also true on their return visit to Antioch of Pisidia, so on this occasion Paul and Barnabas were immersed in the work of “confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in th...

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